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Your Resume's Look Is as Important as Its Content

Your Resume's Look Is as Important as Its Content

Peter Vogt, Monster Senior Contributing Writer

September 04, 2009

Use Bolding and Italics Sparingly — Avoid Underlining

It’s OK to use some bolding and italicizing in your resume text. Many resume writers may bold their previous job titles and italicize subheadings within each section of the document. As for underlining — don’t. Studies have shown that most readers find underlined text difficult to read.

Use Bullet Points to Emphasize Skills and Accomplishments

Bullets make it easier for employers to scan your resume quickly, since they’re intended to grab the reader’s eye and lead it to key points you want to make. Use them when you can, especially when you’re highlighting skills or accomplishments. For example:

  • Increased student organization membership by 25 percent.

* Trained five new employees in restaurant operations and opening/closing procedures.

Be Consistent

If you use all caps to present the name of your most recent workplace, for example, use all caps to present the names of your previous workplaces as well. Or if you use bold, centered text to present the first section title of your resume, use bold, centered text to present the remaining section titles too. If you’re consistent throughout your document, you’ll subtly establish a reading pattern for potential employers that will help them follow your resume easily.

In the end, you’ll still need solid resume content to really sell yourself to employers. Even the most well-designed resume won’t pass the employer’s screen if the information it presents isn’t first-rate. Just make sure the content you feature is visually appealing and quickly scannable so that instead of passing it by entirely, employers will give it the attention it deserves.